Many years ago, I had the privilege of being a student in several classes with Marcella Hazan. She was larger than life in many ways, and I chronicled the classes here. She brought authentic Italian food to the US when she invited New York Times columnist Craig Claiborne for lunch.
Marcella's recipes were simple, that's really the basis for Italian and most of Mediterranean cooking: simple ingredients to produce extraordinary results.
Today I had about 3 cups of cooked broccoli sitting in the fridge, Dr. C. had gone out for a motorcycle ride, and I found this recipe for Marcella's Broccoli and Potato Soup....I urge you to make it, it's simple, comforting and delicious. It's also a great way to get rid of leftovers. I've adjusted the recipe from the original since I didn't have the same quantities called for in the original recipe. This will serve 4 nicely.
Broccoli and Potato SoupServes 4
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed Yukon gold or red potatoes
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups cooked broccoli
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
salt and pepper
In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of butter with the oil. Saute the onion over medium-high heat, until almost caramelized--this will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the potatoes, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the potatoes have begun to color.
Add the broth (if you have uncooked broccoli, add it now, otherwise, wait till the end of the cooking time)
Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add the cooked broccoli, simmer another 5 minutes, add the remaining butter and Parmigiano, season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.